Rooskie Missiles on the Polish Border

Russian Iskander (NATO SS-26 Stone)

Russian Iskander (NATO SS-26 Stone) on mobile launcher

A number of folks have emailed, commented, or mentioned to me personally this: Russia to deploy missiles near NATO border

President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia will deploy missiles in territory near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans.

He did not say whether the short-range Iskander missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.

In his first state of the nation speech, Medvedev also blamed the U.S. for the war in Georgia and the global financial crisis. He said he hoped Barack Obama would act to improve relations with Russia but he did not offer congratulations to the president-elect.

In all honesty, I doubt this is a direct response to Obama’s win last night. They may have been waiting to see who won before deciding on whether or not to announce it in the speech, but the speech was going to happen regardless and the missiles were going to happen regardless.

It’s more than a bit ironic that the Russians have been calling an anti-missile defensive system a “threat” and are now responding to it by deploying offensive weapons to prove that the US is aggressive. This is akin to whining that people shouldn’t wear body armor because it’s a threat to you, and in response to the threat you’re going to start carrying a gun.

The Russians have been trying to shake the rust off of their sabers, and this is just another move in that direction.

Incidentally, this underscores what I wrote earlier about my fear of demands for a sudden “peace dividend.” With Iraq winding down and an incoming president that seems unlikely to open new active fronts in the war, there is bound to be a lot of calls for sweeping military cuts. Things like missile defense are sure to be near the top of the list.


  1. There’s not much doubt, Russia and China rightly perceive US power as waning, due to the tremendous waste of resources on the needless Iraq war (don’t get bent out of shape…….I’m firmly committed to the US staying the course in Iraq), ongoing Afghani operatons, and our current economic state (though that must have been a nice unanticipated bonus on top of the first two situations).

    Gotta laugh because it hurts so much, to remember all that peace dividend crap from the Clintonista years, when they gutted the military. All on the well thought out theory there were no peer competitors to the sole superpower on the horizen (of course that’s easy to “think tank”…….when your horizen is only a drive through distance away! 🙂 )

  2. I really honestly think Russia is stupid enough to expand. But then, that’s just me.

  3. I have to disagree. I don’t think they would have prodded McCain this soon. This is a direct challenge to Obama. They tested Kennedy’s will early, and when it was shown to be wanting, they went ahead with missiles in Cuba. If Obama’s will is shown to be wanting here, the Ukraine better start placing tank traps now.

  4. Phelps,

    Agree. The Russians didn’t even wait 24 hours before putting out this little speech by the President. It is a direct challenge and one that they expect to win.

    Ukraine? I’d also be sweating bullets if I lived in Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic.

  5. This is really just a continuation of their agressive rhetoric. They want their empire back. This really is not about our missle defence, it is about dominating their neighbors.

    Barak and Medvedev are scheduled to meet at the finance summit in Washington on 11/15. Barak better not look into this guy’s eyes and try to see his soul like Bush did with Putin.

  6. I always thought Medvedev was a place holder. Someone to put in office until next Russian election, where he’ll swap places with Putin or go back to the cryotube.

    And yeah, I agree with Phelps, its more like, they took a clue from Biden and are testing the waters, see how much they can go in until Obama puts up a strong resistance.

    I wonder if anyone in the Obama camp is thinking what to do about this now.

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